Thank you!

Thank you for all the support you've given the Climbing Rose Young Adult line of The Wild Rose Press. Our stories are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active. We thank you again for the time you spent with us and invite you to visit our Climbing Rose bookstore.

You are fantastic

The other day I stopped for gas after work. I got out of the car, slid my debit card through the reader and started pumping. In the stillness I heard a voice say, "You are fantastic."

I looked around. None of the other customers were paying any attention to me. Then it came again, "You are fantastic." But this time it continued, "You pay the bills, take care of the kids, make sure everyone around you is safe and you keep everything running smoothly in your family's life."

I burst out laughing. It was the gas pump talking to me! Complimenting the heck out of me! How did a gas pump get so wise? Now, I'm not naive enough to think that the gas pump actually tailored its message specifically for me. I'm sure the next 50 people who picked this particular pump got the same heartwarming message. But it made me feel good. Yes, I do all those things. And generally nobody notices, at least not enough to tell me how fantastic I am. But standing there in the forced two minute stillness of filling my tank, I allowed this kind gas pump's praise to wash over me.

As marketing strategies go, this one hit the mark. Because guess who will return to that pump the next time her tank is empty???

Be sure to visit me online at
2010 EPIC Award winner!

Do you like FEAR?

The sound was loud enough to wake her from deep REM. Like the crack of knuckles against a wall, the thud reverberated through her room, making it impossible for her to tell where it had originated.

Eyes flickering open, she lay as still as death while her ears strained to hear the noise again. The covers pressing down on top of her trapped heat in, making her perspire and her slick hair stick to the back of her neck. Trying to hold her breath so she could be as quiet as possible, she went a little dizzy as she waited.

The sound came again.

Her body tightened convulsively. Lurching into her throat, her heart suffered a severe case of claustrophobia as it beat hard through her pulse, anxious to escape the tight space. Her lungs burned with the need to evacuate air.

Again, the knock sounded from down the hall. From Davey’s room.

But no one had been inside his domain since he’d disappeared.

Unable to hold back any longer, oxygen rushed from her lips, shuddering with stunted gasps.

And then it started. A continuous knock, knock, knock as if someone was pounding on the door to Davey’s room, demanding to get out.

Shoving the covers off her, she leapt from her bed and reached for the nightlight, only to bulldoze it over with her fingers, sending it crashing to the floor. The tinkle of breaking glass followed.

The knocking continued, booming louder and faster. She fumbled in the dark, scurrying toward the hallway. Reaching the entrance, she slapped on the hall light only to find the door to his room cracked open a few inches.

A chilly breeze settled over her, like the cold hand of doom clawing out to grab her and drag her in. It stirred her damp, matted hair and prickled the skin on her arms. Though she wanted to turn back, escape inside her room, slam the door and lock it, then hide under her covers until the horror stopped, she raced forward.

Shoving open his door the rest of the way, she halted in the threshold and gawked inside.

Then she screamed. And screamed. And screamed.


Okay, now that I have your lungs pumping a little harder and your blood flowing a little faster, I’ll finally get down to the meaning of his post.


Obviously, since you’re here, you’re a fan of romance and happy endings, but do you ever like to add a little fear to that happy ending? Do you like scary movies? Horror novels? Halloween?

I’m scared to death of them myself. In fact, the one and only time I visited a Halloween spook house, I was somewhere between nine and twelve. It was during the eighties, maybe early nineties, when girls wore those long necklaces made of big beads. I went with my older teenage sister and a group of her friends. I think I clung to her and hid my face in her stomach through the entire tour. I honestly don’t remember much; the trauma’s probably blocking most of it!

The most notable part of this journey, however, came at the end of the walk-through. Some bloody dude with a knife yelled at us and charged, making us escape from him by entering a small crawl space fashioned from hay bales.

Yeah. Hay bales.

If we wanted out of the house, we had to get down on our hands and knees and crawl single-file through an itty-bitty tunnel made of hay bales.

Well, at this point, we were all pretty much ready to leave. Screaming, we surged in one lump mass toward the not-so appealing exit. I wasn’t the first to enter that crawl space, but I was the first to exit it.

I was so scared, all I remember to this day was breaking out into the dark night and just taking off sprinting through town. My poor sister probably had to chase me down and restrain me until I calmed. From her take on the story, I passed a couple people in that tight crawl space, must’ve wiggled right under one my sister’s friends to get by her, because I came out of the hay bales wearing her long beaded necklace. And I wasn't wearing it when we entered the haunted house.

So, yeah, I’m a big scaredy-cat when this time of the year rolls around.

What about you?

Essay Writing Winners Announced!

Back in the summer I had this idea to offer an essay writing contest to my website visitors. I've always been a fan of the Essay genre, and even have a full page of my website devoted to them. So I opened up the contest and asked for entries. And I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading every single one that came in! Thank you so much for sharing your work with me. It was a tough decision to pick the top three but here they are. In no particular order, here are my favorite three essays submitted, and why I loved them:

A Girl's Trip, by Danielle Murphy

This essay took us on a magical journey to the most magical vacation destination in the world. I related so easily to the trip to Disney, having been there several times myself with my kids, and the author's pure joy for not only the vacation, but the exciting planning process, and the long-awaited reaction from her daughter was to me, pure magic!

On the Job Experiences, by Mary Jean Schiller

It's amazing what job experiences we rack up on the way to doing what it is we were really meant to do. I enjoyed the account of the author's checklist of crazy jobs. Sounds like she needed every single one of those experiences to prepare her for the job of a lifetime: mother of newborn triplets and a two-year-old! And it sounds like she could have a full series worth of stories from Ryan's escapades.

Write an Essay, I Don't Think So! by Rebecca Bidwell

This essay just made me laugh! It's a stream of consciousness selection from a retired grandma who is making sense of her new life filled with plenty of free time. My advice: sit back and enjoy the ride, and don't worry about making your days as productive as they used to be -- a lifetime of work earns you some guilt-free downtime!